Birthday Party Shooting Leaves One Man Dead at Las Vegas Casino
A man in his early 30s was found dead after gunfire late Friday at a Las Vegas hotel-casino, authorities said. The shooting happened at a birthday party in one of the hotel towers.
Police responded to a report of gunfire at the Strat Hotel, Casino, and SkyPod at about 10 pm on Friday, and discovered the man dead in a hotel room, according to Lt. Ray Spencer of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. Spencer is a homicide detective with the combined city-county police department, known locally as Metro.
An “altercation” at a birthday party in the room led to several shots being fired, Spencer said. He spoke at a media briefing outside the hotel-casino.
Spencer said the people in the room appeared to know one another. He said people fled from the room after the incident.
Metro police and casino security officers were reviewing surveillance video to determine specifics, Spencer said at the briefing.
We’re trying to backtrack the suspect’s movements through the hotel and fleeing the property,” he said.
The name of the man who was killed has been withheld pending notification of next of kin.
Surge in Violence
The Strat, formerly known as the Stratosphere, is at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip, inside city limits.
Just south of the Strat, outside city limits, is the resort corridor where the area’s largest hotel-casinos are located. These include Wynn Las Vegas, Caesars Palace, and the MGM Grand.
During the late summer and early fall, shootings at different locations on the Strip and nearby tourist areas left several people hospitalized.
A Metro captain told county officials that out-of-state gangs and visitors were responsible for “a good portion” of the violence on the Strip.
Eyewitness video captured some of the violent incidents, which included fights among groups of people.
One large fight at Encore at Wynn Las Vegas in early September resulted in thousands of dollars in damage at the resort. Encore is on the east side of the Strip where the now-demolished Desert Inn once stood.
In response to this surge in violence, Metro stepped up its presence in the tourist areas. The police department calls this program “Operation Persistent Pressure.” The Nevada Highway Patrol has assisted in the effort.
Several hotel-casinos also beefed-up their in-house security.
The shooting at the Strat is the second violent incident this month at or near casinos in downtown Las Vegas. The Strat is a short distance from the Fremont Street Experience, a downtown pedestrian mall.
Earlier this month, a 39-year-old transient stabbed a visitor from Nebraska three times in the back at the Fremont Street Experience. The man from Nebraska, who survived the attack, was in Las Vegas on a job and had gone downtown for drinks with co-workers.
Police said the attack was unprovoked. The suspect in that attack later became a suspect in the killing of his cellmate at the Clark County Detention Center.
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